Loon Echo Land Trust Receives Anonymous $50,000 Matching Gift Grant for Peabody-Fitch Woods
Hikers access Peabody-Fitch Woods from Bridgton Historical Society’s Naramissic Farm. ~ Photo courtesy of Loon Echo Land Trust
An anonymous Foundation made a very generous donation to the Loon Echo Land Trust to help the protect the Peabody-Fitch Woods. The Loon Echo Land trust said the foundation who wished to remain anonymous donated a $50,000 grant to match donations made for the acquisition of the land in South Bridgton. The conservation effort forever protects the Bridgton Historical Society’s historic Narramissic Farm from development encroachment. The LELT said that the acquisition of 252 acres of land surrounding the 18th century farm reunites the original property and keeps its character intact. They said that gifts of any amount to the project will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the grant funds from now until December 31st, 2018. To date, donations totaling $13,185 have been matched. LELT has received approximately 67% of the funds for the project and Loon Echo needs another $107,000 to complete the purchase. An information session about the project will be held next Thursday, December 6th at 6:30 pm at the Loon Echo Office in Bridgton. For more information or to make a donation go to lelt.org.
Loon Echo Land Trust has received a generous $50,000 grant from an anonymous foundation to match donations received for the acquisition of the Peabody-Fitch Woods, located in South Bridgton. This conservation effort forever protects the Bridgton Historical Society’s historic Narramissic Farm from development encroachment. The acquisition of 252 acres of land surrounding the 18th century farm reunites the original property and keeps its character intact. The land will create a new community space for recreation and educational programming, and protect valuable natural resources.
Quarry located on the proposed Peabody-Fitch Woods Property. ~ Photo courtesy of Loon Echo Land Trust
“The Peabody-Fitch project is one of great significance to the community,” says Loon Echo’s Stewardship Manager and South Bridgton resident Jon Evans. “It connects two large tracts of conserved land, ensures continued public access, and protects some of the region’s important cultural features. The Peabody and Fitch families left an amazing legacy and we are proud to not only protect their land, but honor their pioneering spirit in the process.”
Gifts of any amount to the project will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the grant funds from now until December 31st, 2018. A $10 donation towards the purchase becomes $20. A $50 gift becomes $100. A $1,000 gift turns into $2,000. To date, donations totaling $13,185 have been matched. LELT has received approximately 67% of the funds for the project and Loon Echo needs another $107,000 to complete the purchase. With a deadline for acquisition of December 31st, 2018, Loon Echo is seeking to raise the remaining funds from private individuals, public resources, and additional grants.
Donations to support Peabody-Fitch Woods can be sent to Loon Echo Land Trust, 8 Depot Street Suite #4, Bridgton, ME 04009 or made online at www.lelt.org/pfw.
An information session about the project will be held on Thursday, December 6th at 6:30 pm at the Loon Echo Office, 8 Depot St, Suite 4 in Bridgton. Staff from Loon Echo will also lead an informational snowshoe walk of the property on Saturday, December 8th from 9:00 – 11:00 am, with a weather date of Saturday December 15th. Meet at Narramissic Farm, 46 Narramissic Rd, Bridgton, ME. Please bring your own snowshoes. Snowshoes are available, free of charge, by request. Email [email protected] or call 207-647-4352.
The 252 forested acres of the proposed Peabody-Fitch Woods are contiguous with the 1,617 acre Perley Mills Community Forest to the west. It is also in close proximity to five other conserved lands: Five Fields Farm, Bald Pate Preserve, two Town of Bridgton woodlots, Sebago Headwater’s Preserve, and Lakes Environmental Association’s Holt Pond Preserve. The purchase of the Peabody-Fitch Woods property by Loon Echo will preserve an extensive trail network that connects these conserved lands.
Loon Echo has plans to rehabilitate and expand the existing trail network located on the property. The property will be a haven for the public to forever enjoy traditional recreational opportunities including hunting, walking, and nature observation. This project will also allow for enhanced educational and recreational opportunities for the community’s residents and area children.
Loon Echo currently protects nearly 6,700 acres of land and manages 31 miles of multi-use trails in the northern Sebago Lake region. Its mission is to work with the local residents to conserve the region’s natural resources and character for current and future generations. Loon Echo serves seven towns including Bridgton, Casco, Denmark, Harrison, Naples, Raymond and Sebago with an area of 320 square miles located directly north of Sebago Lake. Loon Echo works within its service area to safeguard water quality, preserve scenic locations such as Bald Pate Mountain, Hacker’s Hill and Pleasant Mountain, and provide outreach and fun educational programs to the public. Loon Echo assists landowners to take steps to ensure future generations will benefit from the preservation of their lands. Member support is what enables Loon Echo to carry out their mission and provides funding for their land conservation and stewardship endeavors.
For more information about upcoming events or ways you can support Loon Echo Land Trust, visit their website www.lelt.org, call 207-647-4352 or visit their office, 8 Depot Street, Suite 4, Bridgton, ME Monday – Thursday, 8:30 – 4:30.
Story contributed by:
Maggie Lynn, Membership Manager
Loon Echo Land Trust